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Discussion in 'Opeth (Archived)' started by Seance, Aug 3, 2007.
You can use http://www.imageshack.us/ to upload the pictures, then use the
Moonlapse has already said pretty much most of what I wanted to say.
I learned a good bit from working with this guy on a cd, and by reading his book and his website http://www.digido.com, which has several well written articles about the loudness war and audio in general. I would suggest checking that out and using your ears on a variety of different music instead of relying on a youtube video posted on a message board to convince yourself that Opeth have "ruined" their albums.
^woooo you worked with the great bob katz? :Smokin:
My guess is these audiophile nutballs have something to their argument, but that it's pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I had a friend who used to rant and rave about this crap, and then I made him try out an ear testing program I have. Basically you input a wave file from a cd into it and an encoded mp3 of the same song, and it chops the song up into segments and you have to try and pick which is the mp3 and which is the wav. It then calculates your guesses, and if you got more than 66% of them right (or something like that) it considers that probably enough to not be dumb luck and you "pass."
And, this snobby audiophile who always railed about loud production distorting the original recording, always bought vinyl, cd, and original master recordings of everything, refused to rip anything to his computer in anything less than .flac files, couldn't differentiate between a wave and a 96 k/sec mp3! 192 is supposed to be the point at which it becomes hard for non-pros to distinguish, but he couldn't even manage 96. I'd imagine a lot of these alarmist snobs are exactly the same way. They like to make a gigantic fuss about something and buy multiple copies of an album to avoid something that's probably only detectable by computers and .5% of those who listen to it.
The cd version in not that bad but it could be superb with little change.
The ability to here the difference is very much dependent on the audio equipment you use.
hahahaha....wow....thats compression to the MAX right there...hahaha....atelast teh mellower parts haev lil room to breathe//.....i mean honestly though...jsut from listnein to TGC....I couldnt haev guesed this much was done to teh WAV......but I see it....still I honestly dont think thier music has frequencies cut off for teh sake of loudness....for some reason they keep teh sound very clear....and thats where they are good at.....PEACE OUT
Now I know I am not going to change anyone's mind on this issue, but I surely hope this post was not directed toward anyone posting on this thread. I will agree with you that there are "audiophiles" that go overboard to the max, but I am not one of them. I prefer dynamic music that has not been compressed to hell for those with iPods.
I would be interested to know what material you used to do your mp3 tests. I am not claiming to have the best ears in the world, but if someone cannot tell the difference between a 96kb/s mp3 and the lossless source is either in need of an audiologist or the source file is crap to begin with. If you have an album with outstanding cymbal quality (I.E. Nothing a metal band has ever released; try another genre), the difference between an mp3 less than 256kb/s and the lossless version is glaring. There is distortion in the HF. Most metal sounds like shit (quantitatively NOT the songwriting skills), so to most metalheads, your experiment is fundamentally flawed from the get-go.
The POINT of this thread is NOT to bash Opeth. It is to point out that perfectly good pieces of music are being digitally altered to maximize volume. OPETH IS A TINY OFFENDER IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS. Put down your pitchfork and torch and think critically for a minute. If you had the choice between a an album with little to no dynamic compression or one that is compressed to hell with AUDIBLE distortion because of this fact, what would you choose?
I say every choice you make soundwise is as important as the notes themselves.
Some genres are just production tricks ( trip hop : sounding new with something old, scratch effects)
From the mastering, to the choice of your guitar, your snare, your mikes, keyboards effects, piano, syntesizers, pro tool or analog tapes, overdubbing riffs or vocals, samples, orchestra, the acoustics of the room where you record, the mix all these stages have an huge impact on the music.
You don't produce and record Opeth like Pat Metheny, Britney Spears like Amy Winehouse , Nile like LCD Sounsytem.
Production is big part of your sound.
I never understood all this romanticism for albums with sucky production where artists themselves regret the production and wish they have done things differently.
I read a Venom interview where the "singer" said he hated the production of the first Venom albums. He likes the production of their latter albums better.
And even current Darkthrone albums aren't that low fi.
When I read some your posts , I have the feeling some think that musicians say to themselves : "yeah, let's have a shitty production, a drowny mix, a strong reverb so we can add a "mood", a "feel", an "atmosphere" to our music."
Shitty production is shitty production.
People don't produce their albums intentionnaly bad to sound "cool" (except stupid tr00 kult black metal bands)
You just interpret it WAY to much.
mike is an accepted alternate abbreviation.
Yeah, I just found it funny here.
The new Mikael Akerfeldt, studio standard for all your vocal needs!
OK well, I just thought this over again, and couldn't really find that much funny in this, I blame it on my sleep deprivation, excuse me,
The source material was Devin Townsend's "Accelerated Evolution" cd. I personally had a really hard time identifying a difference between 160 and the cd, and couldn't pass the test anymore at 192...though I've also downloaded tons of 160 bitrate mp3s off the web that sounded absolutely horrible. I guess the LAME mp3 encoder does a better job than average. Still, 96 is pretty bad.
With the right encoder, you can even pass off 128kbps MP3s at times. A lot of it depends on how much high-frequency content there is.
Totally true, LAME is pretty good at this for the most part.
128 kbps MP3s indistinguishable from CDs? You can't be serious.
Depending on the encoder, the frequency content in the song & the reproduction system, you can sometimes fool a person.
I'd hazard to say that most people outright wouldn't be able to hear the difference anyway, hence the proliferation of mp3s in the first place. If everyone realized what was being lost, the format would likely die in the arse instantly.
Most people don't care enough about the sound quality, though, Moonie. Most people can't even hear the distinctions that we're discussing. Even if they could, they'd have to listen to music in a way that I'm convinced that only a small segment of the population do. A while ago, Sadguru ran a test here where the forum tried to sort out the bitrates of various audio samples. Granted, there were flaws in the test, but one thing was clear: only a handful of us got it right. Many people mistook the lowest quality for highest. And this was when they were comparing the samples back to back, concentrating on the sound. Tell me how many people listen to music with that degree of attentiveness. Unless you're actually mixing the damn thing, I'd say no one does. It's a stupid, frustrating, boring way to listen to music.
So, what was wrong? Well, some folks didn't know how to distinguish what they were hearing. And anyone who's worked professionally with sound knows that, like any other skill, it takes practice. Secondly, most people were saying their systems must not be good enough to distinguish a difference. So, all the complaining about sound quality is so much wasted time. They'll never be able to tell the difference. Thirdly, MP3's are cheap, easily stored, easy to share, don't scratch or degrade... try to convince someone who can't hear the difference on their home equipment that they should go back to higher quality recordings. Why should they?
Convenience is a bitch. I think Dcat has convinced me that a really good turntable is about the best audio reproduction device out there. I had good reason to doubt him, given some stuff Tom Dowd had talked about. But I'm pretty convinced now. Problem is that, to really get that kind of reproduction, you have to shell out some serious cash. And then maintain the bitch, too. What a pain! Or I could make some minimal compromises, and be able to have something a hell of a lot more convenient.
I'm not sure that this demonstrates much. It looks like the CD player is (unsurprisingly) coming in hotter than the turntable. In fact, it looks like you clipped it, though I'm not familiar with the software (note the red marks on the right of the speaker symbol meters...). Do you know at what dB the outputs of each are? The waveforms from the CD look clipped, not really compressed. There is adequate difference between peaks and troughs, and at times it looks like there's more difference than on the LP. But maybe that's just me.
Anyhow... let's use our ears, huh? Who the hell watches waveforms to enjoy music?
What the hell does this comment have to do with anything? His post is perfectly good and appropriate evidence for the discussion at hand.